This website is principally the creation of Andrew Bard Schmookler, an author, speaker, radio talk-show host, and former Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia.
About “Press the Battle”
“Press the Battle” is a campaign whose goal is to get the national conversation to focus on the central realities of our current national crisis. The two main components of that crisis are: 1) that the Republican Party has been taken over by a destructive force; and 2) that the response from Liberal America to that threat has been woefully weak.
In a series of articles, Andy Schmookler presents these components as two sides of a systemic disease that, though it manifests itself in different ways in different components of the American system, afflicts all the major organs of the American body politic.
In its initial phase, “Press the Battle” entails the publication of a series of articles that are intended to “light a fire in Liberal America.” The motto of the campaign is at the same time a strategy for Liberal America: “See the evil. Call it out. Press the battle.”
The hope is that a properly impassioned Liberal America – pressing the battle by calling out this force for what it is – can move the national conversation to the point where an “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment changes the dynamic in the American political consciousness, as more and more Americans see the reality that is right before our faces.
“Press the Battle” attempts to light that fire and kindle those passions in two ways: 1) by drawing a compelling portrait of the reality of that “destructive force” that has gained control of the political right, and 2) and by addressing the sources of the blindness and weakness that have crippled Liberal America’s ability to protect the nation.
Central among these sources are aspects of the worldview of Liberal/intellectual America that cut people off from the moral and spiritual passions that are at the core of our humanity.
To that end, one component of the “Press the Battle” series will offers a naturalistic explanation of the origins and workings of constructive and destructive forces – “good” and “evil” – in the human system. This naturalistic explanation builds upon ideas that builds upon the ideas Dr. Schmookler has developed in books and essays over the past almost half a century.
About Andy Schmookler
Since the late 1960s, Andy Schmookler has investigated the ways that forces – constructive and, especially, destructive – operate in civilized societies. Among his books are several bearing on the problem of war and peace, including the prize-winning book The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution (hardback from the University of California Press, 1984; paperback from Houghton Mifflin, 1986; second edition from SUNY Press, 1995), Out of Weakness: Healing the Wounds that Drive Us to War (Bantam Books, 1988), and Sowings and Reapings: The Cycling of Good and Evil in the Human System (Knowledge Systems, 1989). He has written two books on the problematic relationship between economic forces and human needs, The Illusion of Choice: How the Market Economy Shapes Our Destiny (SUNY Press, 1993, with translations published subsequently in Japan and Korea), and Fool’s Gold: The Fate of Values in a World of Goods (Harper Collins, 1993). ). And Debating the Good Society: A Quest to Bridge America’s Moral Divide (M.I.T. Press, 1999), which explores some of the basic issues that underlie this country’s political and cultural polarization.
Since 2004, Dr. Schmookler has focused his attention on the current crisis in America, which he sees as perhaps the most profound to face this nation in its history. Though it manifests itself in the political sphere, he sees it as going much deeper than politics—involving a deterioration of the moral and spiritual dimensions in which the balance of power between constructive and destructive forces is determined. He has been, since 2005, the host and main author of the website www.NoneSoBlind.org, where he has commented on the deeper realities about this crisis than can be seen beneath the myriad specific events of our times.
In 2011-12, Andy Schmookler was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s very conservative 6th District. His campaign motto was “Truth. For a change.” The essence of his message can be gleaned from this video of a six-minute campaign speech that went viral nation-wide when Lowell Feld, the editor of the website Blue Virginia, posted it on Daily Kos as ”A Real Democrat Gives One of the Best, Most Kick-A** Political Speeches I’ve Ever Seen!”
Since the election of 2012, Schmookler has been working on the present effort to find a strategy to strike a meaningful blow to change America’s present dangerous political dynamic, i.e. the effort that has developed into the campaign to “Press the Battle.”
Schmookler studied as an undergraduate at Harvard College, where he graduated summa cum laude in Social Relations in 1967. Schmookler went on to earn his doctorate in 1977 at the University of California at Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union in a program specially created to accommodate his comprehensive theory of human history.
In 1984, Dr. Schmookler was awarded the Erik H. Erikson Prize by the International Society for Political Psychology. And in 1985, he was selected by Esquire Magazine as “one of the men and women under forty who are changing the nation.”
Dr. Schmookler served during the 1990s as a member of the “Global Problems and Opportunities Group” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., helping to prepare for the Congress and the President an assessment of international issues and contingencies for which American policy-makers should prepare.
Schmookler’s political and social commentaries have appeared in newspapers around the nation, and on various national radio shows. As a speaker he has appeared at universities and other institutional forums around America.
He is married, and the father of three grown children. He lives in the mountains on the western flank of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
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